Saturday, 23 June 2012

Retail Therapy Online

There's just something that I don't like about shopping online. Actually there's a few things I don't like about it. The first one is an innate distrust of giving my financial details out online. Yes they are supposed to be safe websites, and I guess they cant be hacked ... hmmm I just find that hard to swallow.

Then there's the impulse buyer in me. I'm a terrible impulse buyer. I'm the woman who the chocolate bars are placed for at the checkouts. I'm the woman who they put all the bright pretty pictures in cook books for. I'm the woman they dress up the shop windows with colourful dresses in spring for. I'm an impulse buyer and one thing about me is, if I see something I just have to buy, then I have to buy it now! Then I want to take it home and play with it, that's why I eat a chocolate bar on the way home from doing the grocery shopping, I have a huge library of cook books that have only ever supplied me with one dish then been relegated to being a dust collector, and I have quite a few lovely dresses that have only been worn once out for dinner just after I bought them, then I wear jeans for the rest of the time cause the dresses just aren't comfortable. I cant do that with online shopping, when I buy something online it takes weeks for me to get it and by the time I get the package I'm kinda over it.

I've gotten a couple of things delivered to me this week, I've come home from work and there's been a package waiting for me ... so exciting!! I open up the package and look at what I bought, yay it's finally arrived, then it sits on the kitchen table for 5 days til I get sick of seeing it and decide it has to be put away. It's just not as exciting when I haven't been able to play with my purchases as soon as the urge to buy has come on me, all the excitement abates over the ensuing weeks, and even though I try to be excited at opening my packages, it just doesn't give me the same buzz.

Then there's all the other reasons not to buy online, I'd never buy clothes or shoes online, how can you tell by looking at something that it's going to fit, and we all know that a size 8 on one label is a size 4 on another. I like to be able to touch things, turn them around and really look at them, they never give you a picture of the side you really want to look at online.

I have discovered that I have to bite the bullet and buy online. There are a bunch of things that aren't available where I am, not just in outback NSW, but not even available in Australia. I bought a couple of good (I hope) disc locks for Terry and I from eBay about a week ago, they are alarmed and they have the smaller pin that we need for our discs. There were none available in Australia that I could find, the only one I found in a shop didn't tell me what size pin it was, and the woman wasn't going to open the packaging to measure ... hmm that's one of the things I liked about buying in shops, you could measure, not always it seems. So these are coming from Hong Kong, I am sitting here today wondering where in the world they are, and how long until I see them and find out if they are as good as I'm hoping they are. At least this item was pointed out to me by someone who already has exactly the same thing, he seems happy with it.

I also bought myself those new gloves I mentioned a couple of posts ago from the Harley shop in Bathurst. Size X small, and having tried on the textile ones that fitted I had been assured that the leather ones would also fit. They came this week and that's what's been sitting on the kitchen table ever since. I tried them on and was disappointed to find they are too big :(  Even so I still had hope for them because they are such nice gloves, the leather is extremely soft and I was hoping that I wouldn't have the same trouble I have with the other too big gloves I own, I was hoping the pliability of the new gloves will give me some better flexibility and I'll be able to work out how the work the clutch even though they are too long in the fingers. I tried them out today, just a bit of a buzz round town and yay they are fantastic, the longer fingers don't annoy me at all and my fingers were toasty!!

So after having ordered the disc locks and getting my gloves sent to me, I got a bit more courageous later in the week and ordered something else online. An indicator relocator!! Yeah OK so not so exciting but I'm a bit more enthusiastic about this than any of the other purchases online so far. I've looked everywhere for the one that I want, and yep you guessed it the only one I could find was in America. They were really great though, it took about a week from order to my door.

Does my bum look big in this?
It's all part of the master plan, to fix up the things that have gone wrong so far. After buying the saddlebags and all the drama and cost involved with putting them on my bike I've become a bit more wary of buying online so the master plan has had it's setbacks, it's taken a while for me to build up the courage to buy even the smallest item I want online, and I'm almost desperately trying to find those things in shops.

 I needed to replace that relocator plate and the licence plate holder so that my bike doesn't look quite so much like she's trying to be a truck. It's all too wide and low, so I am hoping to get it all a bit more streamlined and to lift the blinkers up just a touch, there are times that I just miss scraping the blinkers on gutters when I'm parking.

So today I went out and bought a plastic rego label holder, I have heard that NSW will be getting rid of the rego labels soonish so I'm not going to lash out on a stainless or chrome one. Then I got down and started unbolting blinkers and number plate holders and other stuff. It wasn't too hard even though at one stage I was laying on the pavers with my head stuck up under the fender trying to loosen bolts with about 1/4 inch clearance to move the spanner. After only about an hour I had it done and Roxy is looking much sexier. I still have to get a pretty chrome or stainless frame for the number plate, and decide where to put the rego label, I'm actually thinking of putting it up where my blinkers used to be on the fender rail. I just looked at this photo and realised that the blinker bracket is further to the right, opps have to fix that tomorrow.

Hex Head or Socket Cap?
The other thing I still have to fix up is the bolts that are holding on the spacers for the saddlebags, yes I still have the black ones on there, and yes they are rusting. I need to get stainless steel ones. To get those (or even to find out if I can get them) I need to know the size of them, and the thread size. I had the thread size written down on a bit of paper but somehow in the frenzy of going on holidays I seem to have misplaced that. All good, the site I found to get my bolts from has a nifty thread and bolt measuring tool. Surely I can get one from the local bolt shop .. nope. Bunnings? .... nope. Sigh, I was going to just buy it online and pay twice the price for it when I included postage when Terry suggested I check Mitre 10. So I planned to shop for them today, but just before I went to all that trouble I decided to fiddle around this morning and check the length of them was available at all. So I took out the three different length bolts and measured the length, I tried to work out the diameter too but was a touch unsure about it .. is it 10 or 9? Well I sat and had a coffee then decided to try ringing Tony the amazing saddlebag fixer to see if he by any chance remembered what they were. He did!! So armed with all the information I needed I sat down to the computer and browsed Probolt Australia's Stainless Steel bolts it's a great website, so easy for a complete noob like me to work out. They didn't have the longest one I need in the right thread pitch with a hex head that I want, so I've ordered a slightly shorter one and I'll see how it goes. If it doesn't work I can get the right thread and length in a socket cap, it will look different to the other bolts on it, but at least it wont rust.

With all of this online excitement and the sad feeling that it's just not enough, yesterday on my way home from work I just had the need to do some old fashioned shopping. There's a jacket I've been eyeing off at the local Honda Dealership, it's a very gurly creamy white colour, I'd tried it on before we went on holidays and it fitted a lot better than the Dri Rider one I have. I walked into the shop with the intention to just buy it! It was still there, but it was behind another jacket I hadn't seen before. This one was black, but it has some white panels in it, one of the reasons I like the white gear is visibility, those white panels would stick out at night I thought. I compared them, the cream one had no water proofing, it was a lot shorter (similar to the one I already own) and it was essentially a summer jacket with a quilted liner. The black and white one is apparently water proof and vented for summer with the same quilted liner for winter, it is longer so it's not going to ride up my back like the one I have does and the sleeves come into a snug fit around the wrists with zippers there and around the hips if you need it. For only $40 more I decided on impulse to get the new one. And I'm glad I did, it fits beautifully, it kept me so warm in the near freezing temperatures I was riding in today that when I got where I was going I was almost sweating. And Terry said it looks great when I'm riding!! The only thing I noticed after getting it home was that there is no back protection in it, there's a pouch for it though so I may just see if I can fit in the one from my other jacket, or buy something to fit in there.

After getting my fix in the shops I came home and decided to bite the bullet and get the one other thing that I feel is a must have for the bike. Highway bars, for protection for me and my bike I've seen evidence on forums that these things help so I'm really keen to get some. Again it seems to be a case of not available in Australia so I have been shopping round for them online for a while now. I couldn't decide whether to get expensive ones that I really like the look of or just go for the cheaper ones from Hong Kong that still look OK. I ended up ordering the ones from Hong Kong mainly because I realised that dropping the bike is still a distinct possibility at my stage of riding noobness and I figure if I have to replace them then I'll cry less if they are the cheaper ones. They still look nice enough and if in a few years time I decide I really want the spiffy looking ones then I can.

So it's been a busy week, I've hardly been to the shops at all but I've shopped like a demon. It should keep my habit abated for a few weeks now. I have ridden the bike a few times to work this week, though when I was on morning shifts I chickened out and drove the car, that frost is too cold!! I've noticed a difference in my riding too, I'm becoming more confident, and I'm sure when I looked at my chicken strips the other day they look thinner!! I'm definitely more willing to do tight turns too, I haven't had to do a full on U-Turn for a while but I feel like I could without too many butterflies in my tummy. The other thing I've been working on is keeping my foot on the brake when stopped. I have always just used the front brake while stopped, it's a hangover from the days when I didn't use my foot for a brake on the scooter. I have realised how much easier it would be to do tricky things like hill starts if I used my foot brake after querying about hill starts on the forums, so I'm practising keeping the foot up there. I'm not doing too bad, I still get unsteady a lot of the time and have to put both feet down but there are also times that I don't put it down at all. It all comes with practise.


  1. Sounds like you have been busy. I have to admit, I have dresses in my closet that still have the tags. They fit right and the price is right but then for some reason i don't have the occasion to wear them. I need to dress up for work more often maybe.

    I am glad the gloves and jacket are working for you. It is good to be warm.

    I learned putting both feet down. Now they encourage new riders to only put the left foot down and keep the right on the brake. It is a hard habit for me to break. On hill starts I still put both feet down but before the light changes I'll pick up the right foot and put it on the brake. My worst is forgetting to take the foot off the rear brake as I ease on the throttle, lol.

    I haven't done it yet, but I hear if you find a parking lot on a grade and practice there without traffic it gets easier as you don't have to worry about someone coming right up behind you.

    1. I wear a uniform for work but I'm glad I dont have to wear my street clothes, I did for one job and I found myself relegating clothes to work clothes, even if they were nice clothes I just didnt feel right wearing them out and about.

      Yes it is a hard habit to break, I like your idea with putting it up just before you take off tho, I'll try that. I guess my other problem is I think I need to adjust the brake, I take off with my foot on it and you wouldn't even know it. I'm so lazy with that brake though that I havent bothered, I know I should.

      Yeah I've thought about the carpark for practise a lot of times, I havent done it though because the one that would be best for it tends to be full of hoons in cars when it gets dark, it's their hang out spot go figure. And of the other two that would be big enough one is so full of gravel and potholes I'm sure I'd kill myself and the other has rotten big chunks of concrete with bushes dotted around it for me to hit. So I havent practised there, but I do try to do it when I'm taking off from work, the camber on the road is pretty wicked and it's close to a hill start, unless I cheat and let the back wheel just rest on the gutter.

  2. I also hate the online shopping thing for the reasons you described. Looks like motorcycles are going to keep you broke to, as my brother keeps telling me. What a fun way to be broke though I say.

    1. Hear hear chiller !!!!

      Considering how long my shopping list is at the moment I'd say I'm going to be broke for a lot of years ... what fun!!